On this episode, Karen and Cadie talk about different ways to start a business, specifically looking at, buying into, and opening into a franchise. Karen and Cadie have opened Payroll Vault, a payroll and outsourced HR service franchise, and have a lot to say about the world of the franchise business. What exactly is a franchise are the pros and cons? Where does one find franchise opportunities? What is the best way to start the search and purchasing process?

Learn more about Karen Simmons & Cadie Gaut


Karen C. Simmons, P.C.

Payroll Vault – Mobile & Baldwin Counties

About Cheers To Business Cheers To Business is a seriously casual business and entrepreneur podcast that discusses starting, running, refining and growing your company, or excelling at your current job with two or your soon-to-be friends – over a glass of wine. Please subscribe, review and rate Cheers To Business on iTunes, SoundCloud & Overcast. You can contact and stay connected with us by LIKING our Cheers To Business Facebook page. Thanks for listening and as always, CHEERS to you!


 Full Show Transcript:

Karen: Hey, welcome to today’s show. This is our second episode, we’re really excited. And today, we’re gonna be talking about the different ways to start a business. And one is start your own. Two, you can buy an existing. Three, open a franchise. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about today.

I’m Karen. I’m a CPA, entrepreneur with big ideas, and I’m The Mom.

Cadie: I’m Cadie. I’m a payroll specialist, business owner, and detail-oriented person that makes things happen, and I’m the daughter.

Welcome to “Cheers to Business

Karen: Cadie, you currently own a franchise. What do you see as the pros and cons in your experience?

Cadie: Well, I think the first thing I want to touch on is what a franchise is. I think there’s a big misconception. Franchises are independently owned and operated businesses.

Karen: So you own your own company, basically.

Cadie: Yes. You own your own company, you have an agreement with a brand that may be national, but as far as in your local district, you’re making the decisions, you’re doing the staffing. It’s really your own entity.

Karen: A lot of people are under the misconception that they tell you everything to do.

Cadie: Well, I mean some brands have more flexibility, others are more strict, and I think that’s an important thing to look into when you are going into the franchise, you know, talk to other owners who currently are doing business with that brand. People who’ve owned one maybe in the past, and also the agreement that you’re signing up with that franchise.

Karen: You know, for example, in the CPA firm, it was me and my team, and so we knew our own rules. I think I found in the CPA firm in that structure, CPAs don’t make money doing payrolls. Well, when you have over 120 of them…I knew I could open up a payroll company, but I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.

Cadie: I was doing those payrolls. Thank you very much.

Karen: Yes, you were. You did the majority of those payrolls. And did them very well, by the way.

Cadie: But not efficiently. And that’s…

Karen: Correct.

Cadie: That’s the key, is I have this much work to do, how can I do it as fast as possible and as accurate as possible? And that’s where a franchise really steps in, because they know how to do it.

Karen: They’ve already tested everything. And I think, you know, we researched, both of us went and, you know, we’re researching trying to see where the perfect platform was and that’s where Payroll Vault came in and you’ve taken it and just run like a rockstar. Now, tell about the beginning there when we were thinking about doing this. What do you remember? What comes to mind the foremost of what our concerns were or why, yes, go. Besides being the efficiencies?

Cadie: I think one of the most important things kinda when you’re getting started is the brand. You know, when people create their own brand, their own logo, the name, the colors, you get very emotionally attached to that. And that’s one thing almost when you step into a franchise is you have to learn to connect with that brand because it’s not something that you necessarily invented or created.

Karen: But it’s been tested. So that’s a plus.

Cadie: Well, I mean from getting everything started by getting a franchise, they give you the playbook. You’re not writing the playbook, and you have to look inside yourself and know whether or not you’re the type of person who can follow a playbook or do you need to be the one inventing it and, and you know, maybe running into brick wall?

Karen: And I think that is the personality type. However, you know, depending on what you want to do, I think you’ve gotta be able to step back, talk to the right people, do the research to see which model. I’ve done both. That’s because for this situation, that…